The U.S. late last week vetoed the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next head of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister and foreign minister of Nigeria and senior executive at the World Bank, is supported by a large majority of the WTO’s 164 members.

The WTO chooses its Director-General, the highest position at the organization, by membership consensus. While this is traditional, it’s not impossible to override a single nation’s dissenting view with a vote, which is provided for in the WTO’s constitution. Every WTO Director-General has been appointed by full consensus since the organization’s inception. The WTO has not yet indicated whether it will conduct a vote or reconsider its Director-General selection.

The WTO announced in early October it’s final shortlist that includes Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee, who is the current Minister for Trade of South Korea.

“The United States supports the selection of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General,” a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative read. “Minister Yoo is a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policy maker. She has all the skills necessary to be an effective leader of the organization.

“This is a very difficult time for the WTO and international trade,” the statement continued. “There have been no multilateral tariff negotiations in 25 years, the dispute settlement system has gotten out of control, and too few members fulfill basic transparency obligations. The WTO is badly in need of major reform. It must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”